One of the later and often called the greatest Incas, Pachacutec, made Cusco into a huge, glittering capital. His importance to this city and to the culture of the Incas, is represented by another statue and a museum closer to the entrance of Cusco.
|The museum is actually in the base of the monument -- five different floors plus an open-air viewing floor at the top. You enter in the door visible here.|
|Note that there are 3 layers of walls in this ONE section of Sacsayhuaman|
|Harold is stunned at the size of the rocks; he regrets complaining about hauling "heavy" hay bales.|
|Gil, one of our travel compadres and a buddy from Cuenca, takes his turn holding up a section of the wall.|
|Gently now, tip and slide the triangular part of the top rock into the triangular spot in the base rocks. How the heck?|
|Julie and Harold, exhausted after thinking about the process of building these walls, rest in an iconic Incan trapezoidal doorway.|
Within the complex there stood 3 towers according to Garcilaso de la Vega. These towers were built at equal distance from each other, forming a triangle. The main tower, called Muyuc Marca or Muyucmarca, was cylindrically-shaped and was located in the center.
|A larger view of the base of the tower of Muyucmarca.|
|If the base is this wide, how high were the walls? Speculations vary from 10 to 90 feet.|
|Here's one of the multiple stunning views from the top of Sacsayhuaman, looking down upon the main plaza of Cusco -- the heart of the Puma.|
|Here's a view of the Plaza looking at the cathedral (left) and ?? (right).|
|Here's the other side of the plaza. We are actually sitting at a balcony window of a cool little restaurant enjoying our last meal in Cusco. |
|Here's a view of another side of the plaza at night. The balconies in Cusco are beautiful -- day or night.|
While the Spanish conquistadors must have been in awe about the grandiosity of the Incan buildings in Cusco, you can imagine their awe when they entered the temple of the sun – Qorikancha ( meaning “courtyard of gold in Quechua) with its walls covered in gold. Additionally, the inside was filled with life-sized gold figures, solid gold altars, and a huge golden sun disc which reflected the sun and created a golden light in the temple. For summer solstice, the sun shone into a niche where only the Inca was permitted to sit. Outside on the grounds, golden llamas “grazed,” as did several other gold and silver animals and plants.
But instead of appreciating the beauty of the grand buildings, these individuals took all the beauty and melted it down to make themselves rich. We asked our Incan tour guide if she felt anger at the destruction of her culture, and she thoughtfully replied that she had gotten over the anger and now only felt “sadness” about what had happened to her people. She did add, however, that many of the tour guides did feel angry. Personally, I (Julie) feel nothing but disgust at these greedy illiterate people who destroyed a civilization, and I find myself further appalled that we still teach about the “civilized” Europeans who “civilized” the “uncivilized” people of the “new” world. What a joke.
|The Incan trapezoidal doorway -- built to last for centuries.|
|A series of three windows looking through 3 of the interior rooms. They certainly knew their geometry!|
|This segment gives you a sense of the perfection of the blocks. Remember -- no mortar was used; everything fit together perfectly. And if it didn't, it was fixed perfectly -- as with this set-in piece.|
|This water channel and the pond are from Incan times! They were not only masters at stone work; they were also masters at water channels and irrigation.|
|This is the way the Avenida El Sol looks from the top of Pacacutec Monument.|